A Month of Biden

Original Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz.

It’s been a month and a day since Joe Biden became president, and I think the greatest endorsement I can make of the man in that role is that for most of that time I haven’t thought much about him at all, and when I have, it’s mostly to go, “Oh, yeah, makes sense why he did that, carry on, then.” Much of his work to this point has been backfilling; namely, reversing a bunch of genuinely terrible Trump-era executive orders with executive orders of his own, firing a bunch of Trump flunkies and otherwise putting the brakes on four years of terrible governance. I don’t think it’s a surprise I find much of that action personally congenial.

Likewise, he’s pushed forward quickly on a national strategy for COVID-19 — again, big marks from me — and right now he seems to be doing all the right moves dealing with what’s going on in Texas. His scandals, such as they are, are limited to having to make a dickhead assistant press secretary resign, having his dog criticized for being old on Newsmax, and having Tucker Carlson, the White Supremacist Who Knows Which Fork To Use For Salad, suggest he and Jill are faking being into each other. His approval rating has been perfectly fine, consistently between 53 and 55 percent. People seem to like Biden as president well enough. You can almost forget he’s up there, doing his thing.

Which I think is entirely intentional. There is of course still yelling and screaming and knifework going on in Washington, but in the last month it’s been on the Hill, where they did the impeachment thing again, and Trump was acquitted for obvious crimes by cowardly fellow travelers again. Biden’s general response to that was to let Congress do Congress while he did what he did, which, frankly, worked to his advantage whilst he was clearing the decks of Trump-derived nonsense. Most of the performatively-foamy folks were occupied elsewhere most of the time.

With that said, a lot of the deck-clearing is now done and Biden will have to start moving his own initiatives forward, so the honeymoon phase (or, at least, the “It’s so nice not to have to worry about what damn fool thing the president is doing today” phase) may be coming to an end soon enough. What seems unlikely to change at this point is Biden and his team mostly plugging away at their plans and goals in an unflashy way. Inasmuch as I generally support those goals, but otherwise have tempered expectations for what they can do if the Senate doesn’t actually chuck the filibuster, and don’t have to worry about Biden being an incompetent ego-driven racist grifter, Biden’s crew efficiently doing what they do works well enough for me right now.

As always, I reserve the right to complain anyway. But for the moment, and one month in — Hey! The Biden era is nice enough so far.

— JS

52 Comments on “A Month of Biden”

  1. This means he’s 4.2% of the way through the period where he’s guaranteed a nominal majority in Congress. No time to waste.

    I am confident that, having been in there, and having seen what the House and Senate have become, he will make good strategic decisions. Confident. Yup.

  2. 1) Boring is good
    B) Boring is comfortable
    iii) Boring is (relatively) safe (considering the alternative)
    next) Boring EVEN invokes … SCIENCE!

    Four cheers for boring!

  3. What I’m noticing is that my reaction to the title “A Month of Biden” was, “It’s already been a month?”. Which is a nice contrast to four years of “It’s only been a week?”.

  4. Evidently there’s a large far right conservative conference next weekend (the kind that will start off with a moment of silence for Limbaugh and will have vendors pushing MAGA merch, people explaining how Trump is just waiting for March 4 when he’ll once again become the legitimate POTUS, etc) that’s become a major stop for Republican politicians for years now. Trump will be speaking. We can all then compare what we have to what we would have had.

  5. So far, I’m getting pretty much exactly what I expected from Biden, and if it’s not exactly what I wanted, well:
    A) It’s a lot better than the alternative.

    B) There are reasons Biden wasn’t my primary choice.

    C) He’s got 47 more months to do at least some of those things, so hey, he’s got plenty of time to exceed expectations. I don’t think he will, that’s why they’re called expectations after all, not desires, but he might surprise me. And it’s nice that with Biden I can have the feeling that a surprise might actually be a GOOD thing.

  6. isabelcooper – Boston, MA – I'm Izzy. I write stuff: mostly vaguely fantasy stuff, and most notably the following books: Hickey of the Beast, published March 2011 by Candlemark and Gleam Romance novels from Sourcebooks: No Proper Lady Lessons After Dark Legend of the Highland Dragon The Highland Dragon's Lady Night of the Highland Dragon Highland Dragon Warrior Highland Dragon Rebel Highland Dragon Master I also like video games, ballroom dancing, and various geeky hobbies like LARPing. I have been known to voluntarily purchase and eat circus peanuts. Like, a whole bag at once.
    Isabel C Kunkle

    “Inasmuch as I generally support those goals, but otherwise have tempered expectations for what they can do if the Senate doesn’t actually chuck the filibuster,”

    God yes. Also, the Extremely Online Leftists insisting that there is DEFINITELY a thing Biden can do to get everything he/they want implemented, but refusing to actually name that thing or cite any evidence that it exists, is making me want to institute Grimdark Schoolhouse Rock.

    I think the man has a little too much faith in humanity–a common Democrat failing and a common failing in people his age, IME–but honestly what the hell can he do? Punch Manchin in the nuts? Somehow get WV to elect an actual Democrat? Send a CIA wetwork team after McConnell? I’m not opposed to any of the above, but I suspect there are some obstacles to them.

  7. I can’t help feeling like someone who has recently been rescued from a terrifying situation but is still having nightmares and living in fear of being dragged back.

    I’ve also had to work against automatic defensiveness when anyone criticizes this new administration.

    I do think that some folks are expecting perfect after having lived through objectively terrible, hence the pushes for parted oceans, ponies and rainbows right out the gate and the instant pouncing on the slightest snag in his plans.

    Still, it’s nice to see him and his team answer hard questions without outright lying to (well there is always going to be spin and CYA-style non-answering), insulting or dehumanizing people who dare to push for specifics on when, where and how the administration plans to deliver on his promises.

    I also appreciate that he is beginning to recognize that his old relationships in the Senate are going to mean fuck-all in the age of sedicious obstructionism into which he is walking.

    Here’s hoping the conservative democrats in the senate don’t further the QTrumplicans’ agenda by siding with devoted Trumpists on things like Covid relief and cabinet picks.

    I hope even harder that his definition of unity continues to inform his approach to legislation.
    .

    Falling into the “get senate and house republicans to go along with this” trap that hobbled Obama’s administration again and again will not stand him in good stead; better to focus on what the public wants.

  8. @Isabel C Kunkle: “Extremely Online Leftists insisting that there is DEFINITELY a thing Biden can do to get everything he/they want implemented, but refusing to actually name that thing or cite any evidence that it exists”

    Be assured that the supreme irony of jonesing for an Autocracy Of Their Own is entirely lost on these dimwits.

  9. If Biden does nothing more that countermand Trump’s Executive Orders, eat pretzels and drink beer for four years, it will be ‘good enough’.

    Anything else he accomplishes will be pure gravy.

  10. A few days before the second impeachment, before I drifted off to sleep, a thought occurred: “I haven’t thought about a president (former or present) ALL DAY!” That was a great space to be in.

  11. I’ve heard a lot of people saying boring is good.
    In practice, “thank goodness I can largely ignore politics now.”

    But boring is not good. Boring is going back to the status quo, which is vastly better than having Trump in charge but it was still pretty terrible. We have two years to get some important things done and I’m not at all confident Biden will do them if not pressed hard by both the liberal members of congress and, more importantly, we in the general public.

    Now is not the time to get complacent.

  12. I was thinking about the situation in Texas. Biden declares a disaster. No holding out for some kowtowing from the Gov of Texas or wanting something in return. No blaming the Texans for voting Republican and deserving what they get.
    I’m glad to have a president again.

  13. There is no blessed or damned way that I will ever dare to ignore politics in any way, ever again. We need to keep on the stick or else we backslide.

    Horrifically.

  14. Yeah, after 2020 had been such a spoiled brat bully, fully expected it to turn 21 and be a drunken brawler. Nice to see it becoming the adult in the room…

  15. “an incompetent ego-driven racist grifter”

    You do have a way with words. I’m stealing this for the next time somebody brings up that orange menace. Oh, and the rest of the post is good too!

  16. I am all FOR pushing Biden on progressive issues.

    That is what progressive voters are SUPPOSED to do, and not just sit back and assume elected officials will enact their chosen agenda.

    Because non-progressive voters are going to push back and contact said officials (and progressives have traditionally been TERRIBLE at calling officials to support their agenda). If one side is making noise, and the other isn’t, then don’t be surprised if officials swing more toward the noisy side.

    (And progressives are not the only segment of Biden’s coalition; the centrist and conservative side are also sizable and, together, are probably bigger than the progressive segment).

  17. I noticed that Biden learned from Bush Jr.’s PR mistake in Katrina–he said up front that he’ll visit Texas when they are ready for him (as a presidential visit has a long tail). Bush Jr. took a lot of flack for just not visiting, and explaining afterwards that it was so as not to be a burden on Louisiana–coming after the fact made it sound like a weaksauce excuse, and it was taken as such by many.

  18. “Now is not the time to get complacent.”

    Say that again.

    The John Lewis Voting Act needs to be moved on yesterday, because the sedicious GQP is going to do everything in its power to “take back,” as opposed to win back, majorities in the house and senate so that they can launch a two to six-year-long insurrection against a democratic (big and small D) government.

    I also think Biden needs to resist the urge to treat his progressive voters like a special interest group at which he can make placating noises before siding with the dinos on issues like climate change, immigration, the minimum wage and police reform.

    I think dinos and their supporters need to remember that while the African American and Hispanic American communities tend to lean conservative on certain issues, they shouldn’t always be lumped into the
    “moderate” wing of the party.

    Biden should think really hard about the overlap between progressive voters and the black and brown bodies who live under greater threat than some of the more…hesitant members of the party.

    He needs to consider the innocent, law abiding folks who automatically tense up when a cop approaches.

    These are the front-line workers risking their lives for 8 dollars an hour while the hesitant wing of the party hunches protectively over their economic privilege.

    These are the ones who fight harder to vote than any American citizen should because they live in states governed by white supremacists who are terrified of their power to heave them out of office.

    How many of the millions of people hoping not to wind up in a country that they either don’t know or won’t survive agree with dinos that protecting a certain cultural and ethnic majority is more important than their lives?

    How many dinos are among the young people who are aging into voting eligibility and are tired of the slowboat to real change?

    If Biden spends the next three plus years caving to dino’s demands on things that impact too many vulnerable groups, he’ll have a difficult reelection campaign ahead of him come 2024.

    He can treat America like a center right nation all he likes, but it might cost him, and us.

  19. Georgia’s legislature is already trying to get rid of Sunday morning voting, which is a very common time for southern Black churches to take people to the polls and go there in groups to do early voting. When North Carolina did something like that a few years back, they were caught being too honest that what they were doing was identifying how Black voters do their voting and interfering with that, as opposed to identifying how Democrats do their voting and interfering with IT, which would have been perfectly ok with the courts, so they got told not to.

    Meanwhile, my mom finally got her first vaccine shot, and I get to go have my second one Friday, and have therefore scheduled “do nothing except take tylenol” for Saturday.

    The Fark news-aggregator-and-snarky-comment site reports that somebody in SoCal has been stealing smudge pots, leading to this women-yelling-at-cat cartoon that was too late to attack to the latest Sugar pics.
    https://fark-usrimg-https://fark-usrimg-850.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/C/Ct/fark_CtqNSUKwRQBNfubeg2KgLJbLRKQ.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=HBAYEKZHGUB4NAYQBVSQ&Expires=1614574800&Signature=3GnbfgINIpnsKAEwaX0KBo1ht2Y=

  20. So far I have to say that I’m very happy where Biden’s going so far. It’s a relief. Keep going, sir.

    Also I love Jen Psaki.

  21. I look to your pictures of the cutie pie cat than these quasi-political commentaries which I feel are more suited to active politicians. I understand that this may more be the “honeymoon” period but if U.S. is back as he has claimed then action on China will be more critical for him to deliver on his promise for America. No news on that yet and honestly if he wants Asia to back him he has to show what he is made of when handling China and its policies.

  22. Isabel: “Extremely Online Leftists insisting that there is DEFINITELY a thing Biden can do”

    Lot of stuff in the world these days to be upset about. Bunch of folks just tried to commit treason and steal an election by force. Bigots emboldened by 4 years of a presidential bigot have made hate crimes against minorities spike. Resistance to masks and covid vaccine falls mainly along party lines. Half a million people dead from cv19. The economy is in the shitter for lots of people.

    But hey, lets bitch about “extreme leftists”, which in any other modern nation would mean “average, run of the mill voters”.

    The way right-of-center democrats bitch about AOC and Bernie Sanders is worse than how republicans cant shut up about hillary.

  23. isabelcooper – Boston, MA – I'm Izzy. I write stuff: mostly vaguely fantasy stuff, and most notably the following books: Hickey of the Beast, published March 2011 by Candlemark and Gleam Romance novels from Sourcebooks: No Proper Lady Lessons After Dark Legend of the Highland Dragon The Highland Dragon's Lady Night of the Highland Dragon Highland Dragon Warrior Highland Dragon Rebel Highland Dragon Master I also like video games, ballroom dancing, and various geeky hobbies like LARPing. I have been known to voluntarily purchase and eat circus peanuts. Like, a whole bag at once.
    Isabel C Kunkle

    @whippingpost: There are indeed! And one person, or even one administration, can’t address them all in 30 days.

    AOC and Bernie are great! AOC herself actually is more expressive of my politics than Biden. Both of them seem to understand how politics works, though, which is more than I can say for a lot of the white cis straight folks who follow them and flip out online because Biden hasn’t magically made everything better after a month in office that includes four simultaneous crises.

    I’m all for pushing people leftwards, and I do in fact call my officials and so forth on that count–but I also recognize that, unless Manchin and Sinema see sense (or see their states getting more reasonable/less gerrymandered), any sort of meaningful progressive agenda is going to come through in painfully negotiated bits. And I’m bright enough to recognize which people I should be angry at about this, which is a low bar.

    Again: if you know of a magical way to get minimum wage/expanded relief checks/etc through the Senate as it exists, including the two Blue Dogs we’ll need for budget reconciliation, please do speak up! I’m sure everyone would love to hear it. Likewise, if you slash BernieBros in general are in possession of the Secret Knowledge of how to make extremely sabotaged agencies and conservative judiciaries fall into line on immigration, kindly share with the class.

    Otherwise? Please grow up.

  24. isabelcooper – Boston, MA – I'm Izzy. I write stuff: mostly vaguely fantasy stuff, and most notably the following books: Hickey of the Beast, published March 2011 by Candlemark and Gleam Romance novels from Sourcebooks: No Proper Lady Lessons After Dark Legend of the Highland Dragon The Highland Dragon's Lady Night of the Highland Dragon Highland Dragon Warrior Highland Dragon Rebel Highland Dragon Master I also like video games, ballroom dancing, and various geeky hobbies like LARPing. I have been known to voluntarily purchase and eat circus peanuts. Like, a whole bag at once.
    Isabel C Kunkle

    tl;dr: I’d be judging this administration very differently if we had a solid Senate majority, but: NC voters decided to clutch their pearls about someone’s sex life when the alternative was Tillis, TX Republicans made voter suppression work for them again, and as usual I do not know what the hell ME’s problem is.

  25. “Resistance to masks and covid vaccine falls mainly along party lines.”

    Say it again!

    And those on the objectively wrong side of that line are probably why we’ve got about a dozen mutations floating around in this country.

    Places people like to dismiss as “third world” and “backward” nations have deaths in the single , double and triple digits because, unlike us, they aren’t peopled by incurious, science denying freedom-spreaders and genocidal white supremacists who believe what “facts” Trump, QAnon newsletters and right-wing news outlets tell them to believe.

    Meanwhile, tens of millions of people “know” that the election was stolen by child raping, baby-eating lizard people, Antifa was really behind Trump’s attempt to put a hit out on Pence and his other political enemies and that, even if Trumpists were 100 percent behind it, they are patriots rather than insurrectionists.

    Against the backdrop of all that shit, Biden’s cabinet is emptier than Bush II’s, Obamas and the former guy’s was at this time.
    Non-white people have nearly as much to fear from white supremacists as they did in the pre-civil rights days.

    Elected leaders are blaiming others for their own epic failures during preventable natural disasters.

    Worst of all, nearly half the nation’s governing body is devoted almost entirely to foregoing effective governance in favor of protecting and doing the bidding of a disgraced kingpin and cultist from Florida.

    Democrats tacking to the right is not what we need right now; the situation is too critical for too many people to cross battle lines.

    There are important differences between desiring autocracy, wanting too much to soon and expecting democrats to pay more than lip-service to progressive causes and needs.

    There are important differences between republicans and democrats; we and they are not two sides of the same coin.

    Those republicans who can be reasoned with are vastly outnumbered.

    Bottom line, Those opposed to things progressives want are usually people who don’t have to live with the profound and far-reaching consequences of letting them go ignored.

    Many progressives know this.

    More importantly, people, not all of them progressives, are tired of being told by folks on higher ground that it’s too expensive or dangerous to keep them from drowning.

    The challenge for democrats will be to figure out how to serve all of their voters.

    This may involve dropping the privilege-informed notion that basic, common sense supports for people are “radical.”

    This may involve resisting the urge to disown AOC for fighting for things that fence sitters assume “anyone” can access via bootstrapping.
    It’s definitely going to involve being smart about what conservatism at this juncture could mean for their political futures.

  26. isabelcooper – Boston, MA – I'm Izzy. I write stuff: mostly vaguely fantasy stuff, and most notably the following books: Hickey of the Beast, published March 2011 by Candlemark and Gleam Romance novels from Sourcebooks: No Proper Lady Lessons After Dark Legend of the Highland Dragon The Highland Dragon's Lady Night of the Highland Dragon Highland Dragon Warrior Highland Dragon Rebel Highland Dragon Master I also like video games, ballroom dancing, and various geeky hobbies like LARPing. I have been known to voluntarily purchase and eat circus peanuts. Like, a whole bag at once.
    Isabel C Kunkle

    @Sarah Marie: Agreed.

    The thing I wish more mainstream Democrats realized (and maybe they do, maybe they’re making mouth noises to keep the GOP off guard while they do stuff behind the scenes, IDK) is that just because Romney/Collins/etc will say semi-sensible things when there’s literally no excuse for it doesn’t mean that they won’t do the same thing as McConnell and Boebert when they can hide behind “but the DEFICIT, though,” or “oh but this person was mean one time on Twitter” or whatever.

    They may speak out when the systems they benefit from are in danger, but they still suck for real.

  27. @Isabel:

    They absolutely do.

    While many of my mainstreamer and centrist friends were all aflutter with happy-talk about the “reasonable” republicans, those of us on planet Earth were waiting for “the enemy of my enemy is my friend, while it suits me” maneuvers .

    And true to form, Collins, Romney and the eight other republicans willing to be caught working with the “fake” president came bearing an inadequate bill with an insultingly low figure attached.

    Explicit in said bill was the belief that financial assistance wouldn’t be necessary because getting rid of the pandemic and re-opening schools would mean easier bootstrapping for those who are hurting and under threat of eviction, starvation and having their utilities shut off.

    That was a bad-faith proposition, one that, to me at least, indicated that they weren’t interested in anything but making a show of “trying” to work with the president.

    This way they could whine about how unreasonable he was and use that as a handy excuse to obstruct all future legislation.

    And I’m not at all shocked that the “Fuck Your Feelings” brigade wants to 86 Neera Tanden because she’s guilty of the kind of behavior that they excused and/or applauded when it was Trump and Trumpists exercising their first amendment right to push conspiracy theories, plan an insurrection, advocate assassination and dogpile women, democrats and uppity brown people for using social media while female, liberal and non-white.

    The sound spankings the “reasonable” “rogue” “outliers” are getting from folks back home are definitely going to give them something to remember when it comes time to vote on Biden’s picks.

    Me thinks the inability to sit comfortably as representatives of their states might get to them sooner than later.

    And now, it looks as if Collins’s butt is the sorest.
    https://nsjonline.com/article/2021/02/collins-says-shell-vote-against-biden-budget-nominee-tanden/

    McConnell, someone who spoke against objections to the electoral college votes and was vocal about Trump’s responsibility for jan 6th, promptly got to work on a figleaf.

    He was never to be trusted.

    He can’t decide whether Trump-approved candidates are a black eye on the party or essential to re-taking the majority.

    He’d go on record with full-throated support for Marjorie Taylor Green if it meant being majority leader again.

    Here’s hoping democrats remember this real good, because we all drown if the scorpions get another bite

  28. isabelcooper – Boston, MA – I'm Izzy. I write stuff: mostly vaguely fantasy stuff, and most notably the following books: Hickey of the Beast, published March 2011 by Candlemark and Gleam Romance novels from Sourcebooks: No Proper Lady Lessons After Dark Legend of the Highland Dragon The Highland Dragon's Lady Night of the Highland Dragon Highland Dragon Warrior Highland Dragon Rebel Highland Dragon Master I also like video games, ballroom dancing, and various geeky hobbies like LARPing. I have been known to voluntarily purchase and eat circus peanuts. Like, a whole bag at once.
    Isabel C Kunkle

    @Sarah Marie: SERIOUSLY.

    Collins is just…like, again, IDK why Maine keeps falling for her “but I’m a MAVERICK” bullshit. I’m glad she kept the ACA from being repealed, but one non-party vote in four years of sycophancy is not great form and…is there some kind of Stephen-King-style curse on that state that keeps its voters unable to recognize patterns?

    I’m not qualified to say how much Biden/Congressional Dems/etc should be yelling at these folks or making a show of being willing to compromise or not–I would yell a lot and tell them to all go to hell, but I’d also have been kicked out in my first week for breaking McConnell’s jaw. (Or for insisting that if Bobo from CO gets to start with “Gah-LORY to GAWD!” I get to practice my religious traditions by requiring on-floor haruspicy before each vote.) But as an angry private citizen, I can and do hope they all get eaten by bears.

  29. Also also, it looks as if the republicans packing the SCOTUS isn’t going to help protect Trump against NY justice.

    Maybe this means the pressure on Biden to go after the former guy will let up a bit.

  30. Isabel:”Otherwise? Please grow up”

    Of all the things worthy of bitching about, half a million covid deaths, an economy in the shitter, an attempted coup, skyrocketing bigotry, it takes a complete lack of perspectuve to decide that the evil that most needs fighting right now are the extreme leftists.

    If aoc and bernie are great, whoever you’ve constructed in that overactive imagination of yours as “extreme leftists” is not anywhere near the top 100 of worst causes of problems in the USA today.

    Grow up indeed.

  31. Reporting from Austin, Texas. Had 8 inches of snow with a temperature of 9 degrees last Monday. Discovered my internet was out. My hot water line was frozen, and the cold water was still working with reduced pressure (the city issued a boil-water notice). I was very lucky to still have gas and electric, with only a brief 15 minute power outage. Thought I left this kind of weather back in Michigan.

    Good grief, nobody has a snow shovel around here and never mind getting the roads and streets plowed. All the sidewalks and roads were still snow covered on Thursday with only pedestrian and vehicle tracks. South and central Texas is totally unprepared for snow.

    All this crazy talk about frozen wind turbines being the major cause of Texas power outages. Thanks to deregulation the stand alone Texas power grid hasn’t been upgraded (i.e., equipment not being weatherized). Iowa and Denmark have weatherized wind turbines, but not Texas.

    Sara Willa Ernst | Houston Public Media:
    “Some reasons for the diminished supply are frozen wellheads, pipes and instruments at thermal power plants. Icy turbines have also limited generation from wind sources.

    The majority of the loss supply — 65% — was due to problems with gas, coal and nuclear generators. Renewables such as wind turbines in West Texas and the coast are responsible for most of the remainder of the shortage.”

    Biden is doing everything in his power to help Texas (as a US President should for any state or territory). I’m glad I voted for Biden.

    It was sunny and 73 yesterday and rest of this week is forecasted for more of the same.

  32. Biden+dems could push to end the ethanol mandate. Its a shitty law with shitty side effects. Anyone with seasonal gas engines (lawn mowers, snow blowers, noats, snowmobiles) know that ethanol gets gummy after a month or so. Anyone who has had to pull apart a carbeurator that sat a few months know how shitty ethanol is. It also ended up causing land that was previously untilled to get turned into corn production. And it drives up the price of corn which drives up the price of hogs, chicken, and any food that uses corn or corn sugar.

    Nobody like ethanol, except corn farmers, which would make its repeal hilarious as all these right wing republican farmers are called out for sucking at the government teet.

    Having Dems push to get rid of a useless big-government program would help go against the “pro big government/pro welfare” stereotype against the left.

    Not to mention, the ethanol mandate comes from W Bush, which could be used to hammer home republicans push big gov welfare programs too.

    Refineries could still use it if they want to. It helps raise gas octane. But 87 octane could be made without it and anyone with a small gas engine would rejoice.

    Ending the mandate is supported by everyone from environmentalists to snowmobillers in rural areas and boaters on lakes and rivers. Easy to do and wide, bipartisan support. And the few people negatively impacted would be a few republicans.

  33. LOL!

    Josh Hawley tried to make BLM protests and the January 6th insurrection the same kind of crime.

    The prospective AG shut his sedicious ass down by clearly and succinctly articulating the critical difference between what fed up, potential lynching victims and their allies did and what incurious, white supremacist insurrectionists tried to do.

    TL;DR: Both are criminal, but only one meets the constitutive criteria for domestic terrorism, and it wasn’t the summer protests.

    Nice try, Hawley, but BLM protesters (not counting the white supremacists who used them as a cover for attacks on minority owned businesses) and incurious, status anxious QTrumplicans aren’t two sides of the same coin.

  34. isabelcooper – Boston, MA – I'm Izzy. I write stuff: mostly vaguely fantasy stuff, and most notably the following books: Hickey of the Beast, published March 2011 by Candlemark and Gleam Romance novels from Sourcebooks: No Proper Lady Lessons After Dark Legend of the Highland Dragon The Highland Dragon's Lady Night of the Highland Dragon Highland Dragon Warrior Highland Dragon Rebel Highland Dragon Master I also like video games, ballroom dancing, and various geeky hobbies like LARPing. I have been known to voluntarily purchase and eat circus peanuts. Like, a whole bag at once.
    Isabel C Kunkle

    @whippingpost: If that’s intended as an answer to my question: I’m not opposed to it, but it’s a relatively niche issue that doesn’t actually help pass any of the legislation that BernieBros are complaining about Biden et al not having magically gotten passed, and there’s a lot of more urgent things going on.

    As a mid-term effort to do the Bipartisan Thing? Absolutely, go to.

  35. Isabel:”any of the legislation that BernieBros”

    Ah, so this has nothing to do with actual progressive policies and everything to do with BernieBros. Maybe just call them the DirtbagLeft. They certainly arent progressive. They’re more like libertarian hipsters who register as independent and thinks everyone else is a sellout.

    Senator Sanders himself, as far as I know, has been progressive since Bidens inauguration but isnt calling for anything that deserves the scorn one might deserve for unicorn wishing.

  36. I think it is telling that after a month the only thing Republicans can find to complain about are (in descending order of blather): an elderly dog, Peloton, and a lie about Biden being responsible for all half million COVID deaths.

  37. isabelcooper – Boston, MA – I'm Izzy. I write stuff: mostly vaguely fantasy stuff, and most notably the following books: Hickey of the Beast, published March 2011 by Candlemark and Gleam Romance novels from Sourcebooks: No Proper Lady Lessons After Dark Legend of the Highland Dragon The Highland Dragon's Lady Night of the Highland Dragon Highland Dragon Warrior Highland Dragon Rebel Highland Dragon Master I also like video games, ballroom dancing, and various geeky hobbies like LARPing. I have been known to voluntarily purchase and eat circus peanuts. Like, a whole bag at once.
    Isabel C Kunkle

    @whippingpost: Oh, yeah. Sanders himself has been very good about everything, but there are a lot of cis white dudes online who are…mostly just cosplaying RENT, yeah.

    Also coming back to note that Biden gave an excellent speech, and my parents and I have spent a full ten minutes staring together at the TV, each WASPily pretending that we aren’t feeling Emotions.

  38. Sometimes experience confounds theory of what is reasonable to get done.

    I recall a government insider, back when the US tried to nation build in both Afghanistan and Iraq at the same time, saying that while the public thought a big government should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time… no, they can’t. They couldn’t do two separate nations, with separate cultures and needs, both at once.

    As for boring, while a populist leader, by definition, requires charisma, I recall a business guru (Drucker) back in the previous century pointing out how, at the time, every good national leader, and business leader, were more dull and workmanlike than flashy. I suspect the situation, and public taste, has remained the same.

  39. @Mary Frances:

    Agreed 100 percent about Bill “the woke are why reasonable people don’t vote democrat” Maher.

    Still, every once and awhile, he makes a point that doesn’t make me roll my eyes.

  40. @Isabel:

    Missed your reply earlier, but I absolutely agree.

    I have to wonder what Collins must have felt about “lessons learned” as she was running for her life from little Donny’s pals on Jan 6th.

    I swear, she will always bring to my mind the delusional mother who refuses to own that her kid throws books at teachers, hits girls on the playground, breaks car windows and starts fires in the bathrooms.

    And you and I would be sitting in the same holding cell, because anyone who tried to harass or bully the squad would end up shitting teeth, in particular the butthurt, CIS SWMS who hate, fear and want to silence them.

    Had I been rep Bush in that hallway, Marjorie Taylor Green would be in physical therapy and just coming off a liquid diet.

    And death by bear is much too swift for this lot.

    I’d take their phones, laptops and anything they might use to contact the outside world and dump them on an unpopulated island for a decade with only five days worth of provisions.

    Let’s see how well they survive in the kind of social Darwinist hellscape they want to make of America.

    Besides, don’t you think the bears deserve better? :)

    All jokes aside, all I can do from my little corner of the country is vote, rant at and put pressure on my reps and senators and hope that a certain portion of the electorate sees sense and escapes the
    that is the republican party before too late.

    Failing that, here’s hoping that enough of the thinking portion of republican voters are at least as brave as Collins and Romney were when it comes time to send the sedition caucus packing and keep any likeminded replacements off the hill.

    As for democrats, I want them to be as ruthless as republicans were when they enjoyed majorities.

    We’ve got two fence-sitters, so that might prove more difficult, but I’d still like to see them abandon their usual trick of extending their hands to the right and watching them vanish.

  41. Bill Maher is a full fledged libertarian ego maniac. But even a busted clock can be right once in a while.

    The problem with Maher is he hates the “woke” left. He named his show “politically incorrect” because he thinks being politically correct means you cant speak the truth, and he thinks he dares speak the truth. Even when what he speaks is his islamophobia or racial profiling. The man is a bigot and hates the woke left for not worshipping his version of “truth”.

    So, while part of that video was about “recognizing the hard work that policy wonks put in government” is true, Maher wraps that video in an attack on the woke left, implying all the woke left does is scream and wear guy fawkes masks. Not everyone can be a policy wonk. And everyone, even the woke left, get freedom of expression to protest and dissent when the government does something they disagree with. And they dont even need to be wonks with draft legislation to fix the problem tbey are protesting. They can merely say “this is wrong”. And merely marching in protest can move the needle so.etimes. maher dismisses their value because they criticize him.

    Maher’s video is a trojan horse. The “policy wonks need to be recognized” is the big shiny horse that impresses everyone. The secret payload that came with it is “the woke left is stupid, doesnt know policy, and need to shut up”

    I admired Maher when he was one of the few to oppose the iraq war. But he has since shown his religious bigotry and racism, and spends a chunk of time calling anyone who calls out his racism and bigotry the useless woke “politically correct is stupid” idiot left.

    Fuck Maher.

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